Mueller Blog

How to Avoid & Handle Post-Launch Product Recalls in the Medical Industry

Posted by Mueller Custom Cut Solutions Team on Mar 3, 2020 8:00:00 AM

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Your business works hard on your products, carefully planning and testing before sending them off to customers. However, mistakes can happen, and they often have serious consequences.

One of those consequences is a complete recall, which can harm your business in a number of ways, including expensive process changes and negative publicity. If your business has experienced post-launch recalls before and want to avoid that situation in the future, you might be wondering how to proceed. That’s where we come in.

The Mueller experts have helped many companies recover or prevent recalls, and we’re going to share how by covering how recalls happen, how to prevent them, and giving some real examples. This way, you can prevent recalls in the health and safety industry, where faulty products can be deadly.

How Do Post-Launch Recalls Happen & How Can You Avoid Them?

Post-launch product recalls happen because businesses don’t involve a converter in the early design stages of the manufacturing process.

Without a converter involved, businesses can miss issues that end up costing them time and money down the line. They can overspec materials or have to backtrack and remake a part, all because they didn’t have their converter providing input. Recalls cost a lot of money, so you want to avoid them completely.

In most cases, the converter suggests solutions to problems that they can implement at the project’s outset, but this cannot happen if they are not involved.Request More Resources

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How Can Post-Launch Recalls Affect Your Business?

As we mentioned above, product recalls are expensive. Not only do you have to recall every unit in the field, but you have to reassess parts and make changes to your manufacturing process. This can be especially damaging in the health and safety industry, where certain products are used in life-saving situations.

Companies also do not like the negative press that is associated with product recalls. Pulling back a faulty product can cause issues with marketing perception and hurt a business’s image, so people will go to great lengths to avoid them. 

What Are Some Examples of Post-Launch Recalls That Mueller Has Handled?

To better illustrate the effects of post-launch recalls, let’s take a look at a few cases where Mueller helped handle a recall in the health and safety industry, as well as detailing how we could have prevented them.

Case Study: Car Seats

We work with a company that manufactures top-of-the-line car seats. They have a massive sled test in their facility that they use to test their products using crash dummies to ensure build quality. They’re known for having the safest, highest-quality product on the market.

After the launch of a new baby car seat, they realized the crotch buckle didn’t have a strong enough material and some of the seatbelts broke through the plastic housing. This was obviously a huge safety issue, so they had to recall the seat. The company already spent a significant amount of money on the mold, and they didn’t want to spend even more for a new one. 

They came to Mueller for a solution, and we created a part that could withstand the load. If they involved Mueller earlier and implemented our solution during the design phase, we would have prevented this issue.

Case Study: Sterilizer Foam

Mueller also works with a company that supplies hospitals across the country, providing a die-cut foam that’s used during equipment sterilization. These foam parts are rectangular with holes in them every couple of centimeters and are designed to let sterilization fluid drain off the parts. They are disposable parts, but very important to the process.

However, the client noticed that there were bits of the foam debris left in some of the parts due to their design. Those pieces of debris could affect procedures and even harm patients if they got stuck in the equipment being sterilized, which is obviously a hazard. 

When this was brought to our attention, we inspected and made changes to our equipment to ensure that there was no debris left over. This is just another case where our involvement in the design stage could have saved time and money.

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Case Study: Car Seat Squeaking Handled Properly

Let’s take a look at one example where a potential recall was handled well. The same car seat manufacturer mentioned above had a case where they received complaints that one of their product models squeaked and annoyed drivers. Instead of ignoring these complaints, they decided to be proactive and contact Mueller.

We were able to find out why the product was squeaking and designed a part to insert during production that stopped two pieces of plastic from rubbing together. The company then sent the part out to existing customers who filed complaints and implemented the piece during production, which preemptively stopped a recall. This is a great example of getting the converter involved to avoid disaster and create a safer product.

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How Can Your Business Avoid Post-Launch Recalls?

Time is an important factor in the medical industry. Having high-quality products ready quickly is crucial for life-saving applications, and recalls can be devastating in this regard. 

The most surefire way to prevent recalls is to involve a converter in the early design stages of your process. Using a converter during the design phase can prevent overspending on recalls and fixes, as well as negative publicity within the industry. 

To combat these issues, Mueller has the most advanced material selection and testing capabilities in the industry. We can help you decide what material is right for your application to help prevent product issues and recalls, as well as offering chemical, density, flame, temperature, and thermal-resistance testing. Schedule time with our experts today to ensure a recall-free future for your business.

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Topics: Health and Safety, Recalls

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